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Travel to Beijing During Autumn

The Chinese New Year has been associated with the Chinese Zodiac since the Spring Autumn Period (771 to 476 BC). The 12 animals associated with the Chinese Zodiac are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. The zodiac has a 12 year cycle with each animal being representative of personality traits that are associated with people born in that year. 2017 is the year of the Rooster and will begin on 28th January 2017 and end on 11th February 2017.

Entertainment and Activities

There is a range of entertainment and activities available during the festival with many traditional cultural activities that are definitely worth experiencing. Popular celebratory activities include watching fireworks and visiting temple fairs. One of the best places to enjoy fireworks is at Hong Kong Victoria Harbor, which is a truly unique and unforgettable experience! Another way to enjoy the culture of Chinese New Year is to visit the temple fairs, one of the best temple fairs to visit is Beijing Ditan Temple Fair.

Family Reunion Dinner

During the Chinese New Year bringing together the family for a reunion is one of the most important aspects of the festival. On New Year's Eve which is very similar to the western Christmas Eve, family and relatives gather together to have what is known as "Family Reunion Dinner". During dinner all the family comes together to celebrate the coming of the New Year and to enjoy the company of one another.

Red Pockets and Decorations

Throughout the festive period the color red can be seen just about everywhere. Red is the symbolic color for good luck and prosperity, therefore you will see red lanterns, red couplets and red paper cuttings that decorate shopping malls, offices and homes. Many children are very excited about the prospect of New Year as the older generation hand out red pockets (Hong Bao) filled with lucky money. Red pockets are usually handed out to children or adults that are not married. Married relatives and family are usually expected to hand out red pockets to family.

Chinese New Year Superstition

Over the celebratory period there are many superstitious things that cannot be done as it is believed to affect your luck for the coming year. Below are some of the things that cannot be done:
1. No housework should be done on the first 5 days of Chinese New Year especially sweeping the floor as this means you are sweeping away your good fortune.
2. Washing your hair on the first day of New Year is also a big no as this again symbolizes washing away your good luck.
3. For those who are extra superstitious it is believed that by wearing red underwear can ward off evil and bring you prosperity and fortune.

Travelling During Chinese New Year

Travelling during the Chinese New Year is often chaotic due to high numbers of migrant workers returning to their hometowns for the festive holidays. This period is referred to as "Chunyun". Purchasing train tickets, flights and bus tickets during this period is troublesome. The high peak travel period usually begins 15 days before the Chinese New Year and comes to an end after 30 days. Travelling in China during this time is not ideal due to many migrants carrying lots of luggage and overcrowding on trains and buses.

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